My Dog’s Favorite Books

Dear Reader:

Remember my little editor, Bart?  You caught a glimpse of him in “See the Nose?! He spends a lot of time with me in the pink shed, because he’s a “mama’s boy” and, well, he’s an editor.  This week he has two books to recommend: he hopes you will consume them with as much pleasure as he did.

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His first recommendation is the $60,000 Dog: My Life with Animals by Lauren Slater. It’s probably obvious why he was drawn to this book, and, of course, it’s the same reason I was drawn to it. Slater’s memoir is one long, beautiful meditation on the solace and joy that animals can bring to our lives. Slater, a psychologist, survived a difficult childhood with a mentally ill mother. As a child, her bike provided her with a means of escape from her troubled home and the country lane she travelled was her introduction to the natural world. It was there she fell in love with a variety of animals. We meet a horse, raccoon, swan, bat and Lila, her precious dog, who eventually loses her sight despite the $60,000 in veterinary care.  Her dog is resilient, though, and adjusts to blindness so well that it seems to inspire Slater’s husband who is suffering a medical challenge of his own. Anyone who loves animals will love this book, but it is not just for animal lovers. Slater’s honest reflection on life’s joys and sorrows is inspiring.

Bart’s second choice is an old favorite of mine, as it reinforces my eat, drink and be merry philosophy!  A surgeon and a psychologist teamed up to produce:  Live a Little:  Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health. The book covers the full gamut of women’s health topics including: exercise, stress, nutrition and sleep, and contains quizzes to help you determine your current state of health. Love and Dormar debunk some common myths and explain why the studies we read about in the headlines are often highly flawed. The big takeaway is just as my grandmother preached: everything in moderation. Don’t worry!

I’m sure you’ll agree after reading these two titles that my little guy has excellent taste in books!

Have a great day,

Michele 

 

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Anonymous

Dear Reader:

I googled you with no results reads the poster in my pink shed.  Below the words, there is a beautiful silhouette of a woman who looks as though she lived in the Jane Austen age. I hung this poster up a few months ago …that resembles me, I thought! I pictured myself in my pink shed reading books, writing cards and letters to my friends and family and simply relaxing with my dog in my lap. I did not see myself practicing my computer skills, launching a blog or setting up a Facebook page. But, March has ended and I’ve done all those things!

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I’m reminded of the old saying that: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It seems I am capable of learning new tricks, and, as for my dogs, well…we couldn’t teach them any tricks when they were young! I hope you’ll enjoy reading my posts from the pink shed and I hope you’ll share what’s on your mind, too!

All the Best,

Michele

P.S. Dachshunds are notoriously difficult dogs to train…really!

 

 

See the Nose?!

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Dear Reader:

I have a cold today, so I decided to hang out on the couch in the main house where I have ready access to hot soup, sympathetic family and lap dogs.  You can’t see me in this photo; I’m reclining on the couch while editing my site. But you can see one of my dogs who does not like to yield his space to the computer! My little editor‘s name is Bart (short for Bartholomew). He’s a mama’s boy and he likes a good book almost as much as I do. You can read about his favorite books here.

Thank goodness for Progresso chicken noodle soup!

Michele

Hello

Dear Reader:

Throughout the process of unpacking, downsizing and remodeling, my husband and friends often asked me, “So what’s next, Michele? What are you going to do with yourself?” My answer was always the same: I didn’t know, but I wasn’t worried. I felt strangely and strongly confident!

It is not completely unexpected that I’d make my way back to the page, as I’ve been a writer and reader for as long as I can remember. In 1976, when “All The President’s Men” was released, I was 16. Just in case you don’t remember the movie, it was the story of the Washington Post reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. Mind you, I made it a rule to see any movie that starred Robert Redford, but this one had a lasting impact on me. I was young and idealistic and I wanted to believe that anyone (even me) had the potential to change the world. So, I studied journalism in college and later worked in television news and public relations.

It was not until I had my daughter, at the age of 36, that I realized my reverence for writers and words came long before Woodward and Bernstein. I remember the day I read aloud a favorite poem from my childhood: Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat…” My darling baby smiled. We shared so many more books in the years that followed. And, after that, I created a reading list for parents to share with their children and lectured through community centers and education and recreation departments about the importance of reading to young children.

What is surprising is that I am here...in the cloud. I do remember my typewriter, fondly. I have a great deal more life experience than computer experience, and so this endeavor scares me a bit. My technology consultant, Kristin Guidi, has helped me establish this home. I formally thank her and ask you for your patience as I become more proficient in my new medium.

The doors to my pink shed are open and I welcome you whenever you’d like to stop by. I’d like you to feel as if you could sit in my guest chair, with a blanket and/or dog on your lap, sipping coffee, cocoa, tea or bubbly. I’ll start the conversation and tell you a few things about me:

  • I have, 3, yes three, long-haired miniature dachshunds
  • I collect cookbooks, but I don’t really like to cook
  • For 40 years I’ve recorded favorite quotes in random notebooks
  • Oh, my goodness, I’m a kid about Christmas
  • I married my high-school sweetheart
  • All of the writing doesn’t happen in my shed, a lot of good ideas come to me at 3 a.m. when I regularly wake with night sweats

 

Hope you visit again soon,

Michele